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How to Wash Orthaheel Slippers

A few months ago, I was sent a pair of Orthaheel slippers to try out. (Side note: they are now known as Vionic with Orthaheel technology.) It took some time to break them in, since you need to wear them for a few hours a day until the orthotics conform to the shape of your foot, but I’ve been practically living in them ever since. You may have seen me photograph them on Instagram (and Facebook and Twitter) or wear them at holiday parties and family gatherings. (Sensory issues – I don’t mind taking my shoes off at the door, but I hate the feel of the floor through just socks!) Anyone who’s seen them in person has expressed surprise that they were slippers and not regular shoes. They’re nice and sturdy, and they really have made a difference in my foot and leg pain. (Affiliate link incoming, in case you want to buy them…)

Orthaheel Alta Mary Jane Slipper

So I’ve been wearing them pretty much all day long, working from home as I do…and they stank. I’ve been begging Tom to take out the garbage, run a load of dishes, do whatever he could to see if we could get rid of the bad smell I kept smelling. It wasn’t until our first nice, spring day this week, when I’d opened the windows and sprayed some Oust around the house that I realized I was carrying the bad smell with me.

How to Wash Vionic Slippers

As it turns out, the official word on keeping any Vionic with Orthaheel technology footwear clean is to wipe them with a damp cloth and air dry in indirect sunlight. I was way past the point where this method of cleaning was going to be of any use. To get gross for a minute, I had the beginnings of mildew inside my slippers. (I can’t help it if my feet get sweaty a lot!) So I did a quick Web search and found that many people had the same question. If you’re not supposed to toss them in the washing machine or otherwise submerge your slippers in water, how in the world do you get them clean? After all, these aren’t cheap slippers.

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It’s that time of year again, and the ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting the Ultimate Blog Party. So I get to take some time out to introduce myself and my blog for readers both new and old!

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

And new for me this year, I decided to sponsor one of the prizes at #UBP14! I’m offering two bottles of Nicole Miller Age-Defying Serum, a $74 value. Here’s a screenshot of what my prize listing looks like and a picture of the product, though the picture isn’t part of the listing:

UBP14 Prize Listing

So go and check out the rest of the UBP prizes and enter to win some!

Who Am I? What is WELL, in THIS House About?

I’m Christina. I have a lot going on. I have an online copywriting business (hire me!), the best husband in the world (Tom), the cutest kid ever (TJ), and a host of mental and physical issues that make my life more…interesting.

Family Photo

I’m quite the introvert in person, but online, I have a tendency toward sharing TMI. I can’t help but be authentic, and if sharing my struggles helps even one other person, then that’s a good thing. I share stories about being a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, and some other mysterious, yet-undiagnosed issues. These are my special needs. TJ also has special needs as an 8 year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome – but I hope that’s the only complication he’s inherited from me. Tom is a good man, a great husband and father, and the only neurotypical member of our household.

This blog used to focus on TJ and parenting, back in the day when it was called Cutest Kid Ever. But as TJ has grown, so have I, and I’ve started preparing for a time when TJ doesn’t want me to write about him all the time. Although maybe that day will never come, since he loves to be in the spotlight on here, and has started contributing his own stories. Now we’re more of a “lifestyle” blog. I shy away from directly calling it a special needs blog because that niche generally seems to focus on the special needs of kids and not the adults themselves. And let’s face it, I write about whatever I feel like writing about. That fills a need for me.

But What Does It MEAN?

When I decided to re-brand the blog, WELLinTHIShouse.com was not my first choice. But my first choice of domain names was taken. As were the second, third, etc. But I was trying variations on the same general idea, and that’s how I ended up with this. The idea is this. So many times, you get parenting “advice” about how you should do this, you shouldn’t do that, it’s supposed to be this way…

Well, in this house, we do things differently. (See what I did there?) We do what works for us. That’s all anyone can ever do.

Some folks think it’s a wellness blog. And in a way, it could be said that what I’m striving for is the best sense of wellness I can get for myself and my family. But that’s not really the meaning of well that I was going for.

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It started with this tweet:

Well, it started long before that, but this tweet is what put me on the radar of the local media.

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Unified Cat Theory of Comorbid Illnesses

As I sat here at my desk – depressed, exhausted, in pain – I had an idea for a cartoon I wanted to draw. Unfortunately, even my cartoon animals don’t look anything like they do in my head, so I ended up searching for cat pictures to do the same thing. And so I present unto you, my unified cat theory of comorbid illnesses:

I uploaded it to imgur so that it can be easily shared on reddit and elsewhere. You can click on the graphic to see it full size on the page.

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I Can’t Believe It IS Butter!

I had to laugh when I saw this “butter is back” post on Jezebel. This was the subject of a conversation I had with Tom the other night. It went something like this…

“Honey, I’ve been thinking. I know this is going to seem like it’s from way out in left field, but I think we should stop using Country Crock and switch to using real butter instead. I mean, I’ve been trying to make all of these changes in my diet in order to feel better, and so many people are talking about how we should be eating more real food, so I think this would be a good idea for all of us. But I want to buy it in a tub so it’s easier to spread, except for baking, where we can still use butter in sticks.”

Tom looked at me and blinked a few times before he responded.

yes that is a whole stick of butter

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TJ Commandeered My Quaker Breakfast Shakes (Review)

Not too long ago, I was asked to try out new Quaker Breakfast Shakes. Since we’re always looking for new things to have for breakfast that also taste good and have some nutrition, I said: Sure, why not?

So they sent me some samples of both the strawberry and the chocolate flavor shakes. Since it’s been really cold around here for quite some time, the shakes were nice and cold when they arrived on my doorstep, so we didn’t need to wait for them to chill in the fridge.

Quaker Breakfast Shakes

TJ was really interested in giving these a try so, I had to share them with him. He was an instant fan.

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When You See Me Out

When you see me at an event or even just a restaurant, you might think that I’m doing pretty well. You might forget I have a lot of health problems, or you might even scoff and think I must exaggerate about them when I vent my frustrations on Facebook or turn down invitations. But while your biggest concern for a night out with friends is finding someone to watch the kids, I’ve likely had to make preparations days in advance in order to be functional for four hours in public. Welcome to life with chronic illness.

The Hours of My Day

Within the last few months, I decided to stop fighting against my body, and I stopped using the alarm on my clock. I stopped trying to get up at a societally-approved time each morning and let my body get as much rest as it needs. I do have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), after all. What I discovered is that my perpetual exhaustion was exacerbated by allowing myself only eight hours of sleep. My body needs just about 10 hours to feel rested. (And I need medication to feel rested at all, but I’ll get to that later.) So now I let myself wake up when my body is ready, and I just get a later start on my day than most other people.

I find my mind is much sharper now, and the haze of brain fog isn’t an all-day-every-day thing anymore. (It’s not gone completely, but you can’t win ‘em all.) My muscles don’t feel as fatigued all the time, at least not right upon waking.

But 10 hours of sleep leaves me with 14 out of 24 hours. And it takes me about an hour for my pre-bedtime routine, so then we’re down to 13 hours.

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4 Simple Tasks for Your Pre-Spring Cleaning Checklist

Here in upstate New York, we’ve still got snow and freezing temperatures, so spring seems like it’s still going to be a long time coming. Spring cleaning may have to wait for some time – I don’t see our windows opening to let the fresh air in any time soon – but there are things to do to get ready for that annual housecleaning that comes after a winter where many chores get neglected due to the weather. Here are four things you can do to get a head start on your spring cleaning, which shouldn’t take too much time out of your day:

Take out the recyclables.

Recycle Recycle Trash Recycle

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I’ve been trying to participate in the #365feministselfie project. I learned about it a little late, and I haven’t been very diligent about the “taking a photo every day” thing, but I counted 28 pictures for January and February, so it’s almost like I did February properly.

365feministselfie - January and February

A lot of these photos aren’t very flattering, but the point of  #365feministselfie is to be real, to show who you are, how you feel, and what you do. The beginning of the year wasn’t exactly a happy start for me, as you can see at a glance, but it did have its moments!

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How to Beat the Pandaren Spirit Tamer Quests (World of Warcraft)

I find myself revisiting the Wowhead pages for each of the Pandaren Spirit Tamer dailies…day after day. And then I have to scroll through the comments to find the most viable strategies for my collection of pets, because I don’t have all of the “best” pets for the job yet.  As a general rule, I try to level a pet in each fight. A level 23 pet will often ding level 25 after a pet battle when I’m wearing my Safari Hat.  The other two pets in every fight are meant to be level 25 of rare quality. Here are the strategies that have worked for me (as of Patch 5.4.7):

Pandaren Spirit Tamers - Pet Leveling Guide

Thundering Pandaren Spirit Pet Battle Strategy

The enemy pets:

  1. Pandaren Earth Spirit (Elemental)
  2. Sludgy (Magic)
  3. Darnak the Tunneler (Beast)

My pets:

  1. Leveling Pet (Critter, at least 400 HP)
  2. Tolai Hare, or any other rabbit (Critter, speed >300)
  3. Son of Animus (Mechanical)
    Alternate Mechanical pets that can also work: Darkmoon Tonk

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